Change is difficult. It takes energy and effort.
You’re already working or going to school or have other essential responsibilities that distract you from taking care of yourself first.
Let me offer you this.
You MUST take care of yourself first.
It’s not about selfishness.
Your ability to live a happy and healthy life is the foundation of everything important in your life.
If you allow yourself to become overweight or pursue an unhealthy lifestyle, you will eventually become incapable of working or participating in things you enjoy.
Your children model you whether you think you influence them or not.
Do they see you value the importance of exercise and physical activity or do they watch you sit in front of the TV or the internet for hours at a time?
Do your kids see that you value a healthy, nutritious eating plan over a quick fast-food meal or junk food?
Your behaviors are the foundation of everything.
Let me offer you 3 mistakes and 3 Solutions to making the progress with your life that you’re seeking.
Mistake #1: Vague and uncompelling goals
“I want to get in shape.”
This is a vague and uncompelling goal. It’s usually muttered while sitting slouched on the comfy sofa as you watch the latest American Ninja Warrior-like TV show. It is a start because you’re at least recognizing the problem, but it provides nothing in the way of the desire to make the efforts necessary for change.
Solution #1: Establish a clear, challenging, and compelling goal
What result of your efforts gets you interested and excited about making a change?
Do you want to regain your health?
Do you want to be able to participate in an activity that you enjoy?
Goal: I will get off my high blood pressure medication by my next doctor’s visit in 6 months.
Goal: I will make the most difficult climb at the indoor climbing center by April.
Mistake #2: Using the wrong measures or not measuring your efforts relative to your goals
Looking at your weight on the bathroom scale and hoping that it will change through random acts of health is not the measures we’re going for. This is definitely the wrong measure to emphasize to make progress.
Most people try to initiate random behaviors in the hopes that they will move them closer to their desired outcome. This often results in expended energy with little to no result followed by negative feelings toward yourself and an end to your quest for change.
Solution #2: Focus on behaviors that emphasize LEAD measures
If you’re not sure what to focus your efforts on, reread my post on in regard to LEAD measure and LAG measures. LAG measures like scale weight are useful, but they are not where your efforts need to be focused.
LEAD measure examples:
Getting your two workouts in at IFAST and taking two long walks each week
Preparing your food on non-workout days and portioning them in containers
Getting to bed on time to assure optimal energy for the next day.
Good measure provides information about what’s getting done and reinforces the appropriate behaviors.
Focus on locking in just one new behavior at a time and then move on to the next one.
Mistake #3: Letting your social side interfere with your goals.
There are people, even friends, that will sabotage your progress.
They don’t mean to, but they will prevent you from being successful.
Many people don’t have the same goals as you do. They may not care about your goals as much as you do. They may not value personal achievement. They may not value health or physical appearance. Therefore, they may unintentionally prevent your success.
They may say, “Don’t leave yet!” When you know it’s time for you to leave to make your bed time.
“Have another drink!” When you know that another adult beverage is inconsistent with your goal behaviors to avoid empty calories.
Solution #3: Associate with people with similar values
One of the things that I’m most proud of is the community that we’ve created at IFAST.
It’s mostly because our IFAST Family of clients are good people, but it’s fascinating to see the supportive interaction of our clients regardless of what fitness level they may represent.
Professional athletes cheering on our adult fitness clients.
Our Athletika group class participants pushing each other for one more rep.
Our New Year’s Challenge participants competing but supporting each other to make their weekly workouts.
Sometimes you need to spend less time with the unintentional saboteurs and more times with those who will support your efforts and keep you accountable. Who knows. Maybe you’re the example they need to help them achieve their goals and lead them toward a healthier lifestyle.